Tag Archives: Sports Bars

Muy Caliente: Watch! Lounge at Albuquerque Airport

15 Aug

Go to Santa Fe! There is simplistic beauty in their art, their culture, their history, and the mass local faux-pas of referring to things having “authentic Indian” influence. Fortunately, this doesn’t apply to the local cuisine, which is all proudly Mexican.

This includes the nearest international airport, Albuquerque, a modest 65 miles south. While sadly waiting alone in a sea of airport kiosks hocking “Indian” crafts, a traveler may drop into Watch! Lounge in terminal B. Not flying out of terminal B? Don’t worry, all four Albuquerque terminals meet at the same security checkpoint and are only about 10 gates long.

  • Appearance: (8.5) Bright red roasted tomatoes, banana-bright yellow cheese, and a hearty layer of deep green roasted jalapenos. The auxiliary condiments are in an anxious row of crucibles on a separate tray. Beautiful.
  • Quality of Ingredients: (9) When a chef goes to the trouble of making fresh salsa with a dash of cilantro, roasting the tomatoes and peppers, applying a separate spice to the juicy chicken, and leaving trace chunks of avocado in the guac for the diner’s pleasure, you know you’ve found someone serious about nachos. My only minor grumbling was that the guac could have used a little more saltiness.
  • Distribution of toppings: (6) Ooof! I hate to dole this out (especially since I couldn’t technically finish the first layer), but those brazen enough to get past layer one will encounter the true desert of New Mexico: dry tortilla chips. (*Horrified scream!*) However, if you count the salsas and guacamole served separate from the chips themselves, this was a full-coverage deal.
  • Price: (9) At $7.99 for airport nachos that could easily have satisfied the whole NP crew, these nachos are a delectable bargain.
  • Total: 32.5/40. It should be noted that I also ordered a mediocre (not terrible) margarita with these culinary triangles of delight, and the nachos actually distracted me from my beverage. It turned out to be complimentary, though, as my mouth was so scorched from the jalapenos that I had to drown my tastebuds in Mexican nectar before exiting the bar. Score one for the South West!

Game On!: In It To Win It

4 Aug

First and foremost, we owe Game On! a big apology. We’d spent two years CONVINCED we’d reviewed their nachos. To us, the Fenway bars are a bit of a blur, and with woeful humility we admit to confusing the bounty of Game On! nachos with the plebeian bore-fest at Cask & Flagon. Oh, Game On! we throw ourselves on your mercy and proudly announce your candidacy for the best nachos in Fenway (not that there’s much viable competition in that category).

  • Appearance: (8) As she delicately placed these upon the table, our waitress warned, “I have never seen them put so much chili on something.” We can agree!  Along with the ooey-gooey cheese and perked-up ears of guacamole, these appeared to be quite an exceptional nacho.
  • Distribution of toppings: (9) The tidal wave of chili roaring across the quiet countryside of these nachos burst through the levees of cheese and chips to soak through to the very foundations. We were just about ready to call for FEMA to step in and declare it a state of nacho emergency. While we’re not sure if such a deluge is common practice at Game On! (they may have received reports that we’d be dropping by), the proportions were about right and there was plenty of topping to go around.
  • Quality of toppings: (8.25) Once again we find a sweeter chili, with a distinct note of teriyaki.  Though it’s not our favorite, we enjoyed it and the kidney beans. For the most part, the ingredients were fairly standard–nothing stood out as especially delicious and the guac could have used a bit more seasoning. Here’s a lesson.
  • Price: (7.25) We were extremely skeptical of these nachos: an extra $3 for guacamole making these top out at $15?  Unheard of!  But when it came down to it, there were far more worth their high price than we could have ever imagined.  Four of us gave it the ol’ college try and still failed to finish them.
  • Overall: 32.5/40.  FINALLY, great nachos in Fenway!  Game On!, you were worth the wait.

Game On!, tonight you surprised us, and after 100+ reviews, that’s hard to do. What with our multiple traumatic experiences with Beer Works nachos, the blandness of Fenway Cantina and Cask & Flagon, and the predictable nightmare of Fenway Park, we thought the Fenway area was a wasteland. Nevertheless, you delivered the goods and while we’d love to see the price come down from its low-earth orbit, you finally gave us a place to recommend to our multitudinous following of drunk Red Sox fans.

Brighton Beer Garden: Right On, Beer Garden!

2 Aug

The Brighton Beer Garden once spent an illustrious summer as one of our favorite Stump! Trivia haunts.  Yet somehow, each time Wednesday rolled around, we found ourselves avoiding the nachos.  Extrapolating from the average-quality bar food making up the rest of the menu and the $14 price tag, we expected them to be mediocre, forgettable and overpriced, and so always managed to conveniently find something else on the menu that we wanted to order more.  But lo and behold, a new menu has debuted, featuring items like bacon-wrapped scallops and lobster ravioli.  Could this gentrification spread to the nachos?  We were determined to find out.

  • Appearance: (8) Our kidney beans runneth over, along with everything else!  These presented a visual feast as they approached, with their wide variety of toppings.  Significant naked chips left us worried, however.
  • Quality of Ingredients: (8) It’s a testament to how pleasantly surprising these nachos were that it took a few minutes for us to realize that they had BACON on them.  Bacon!  Only a small smattering, but still, bacon! Our attention was primarily taken up by the Garnish of Delicious Mystery, which, after sending a bartender off to the kitchen to inquire about, we learned was thin threads of beef jerky.  The chili was full of kidney beans, and the guacamole tasty enough, though Guacaholics Anonymous was still fresh enough in our minds to limit our intake to a few nibbles.  Chips were nothing special.  The salsa in the big cup off to the side was finely minced and deliciously fresh, a rare find indeed!
  • Distribution of Toppings: (7) It’s hard to report on the naked chip situation because we didn’t make it through enough of these to have that be a problem.  This was a sizeable plate of ‘chos and while we barely made a dent in it, the parts we did get to had a decent distribution.  Even if a naked chip did arise, the guac and sour cream (not too cloying, fortunately) were there for the dipping, along with the delicious fresh salsa on the side.  At first we wondered why the salsa was presented on its own, but in the end it made sense– it was so pureed, almost gazpacho-like in texture, that it would have turned everything soggy. We applaud the chef’s good sense in this situation.
  • Price: (7.5) Nearing Sunset-esque proportions, these were worth more of their $14 than we originally expected.  Still, could do a little better…
  • Overall: 30.5/40.  Better than anticipated, with some welcome surprises.  Certainly a better bet than their Brighton Center competition…